Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
A north wind at city hall
A north wind at city hall
Nickname(s): 
Shipbuilding Capital of the Midwest
Location of Sturgeon Bay in Door County, Wisconsin.
Location of Sturgeon Bay in Door County, Wisconsin.
Coordinates: 44°50′01″N 87°22′40″W / 44.83361°N 87.37778°W / 44.83361; -87.37778Coordinates: 44°50′01″N 87°22′40″W / 44.83361°N 87.37778°W / 44.83361; -87.37778
Country United States
State Wisconsin
CountyDoor
Government
 • MayorDavid Ward
Area
 • Total11.49 sq mi (29.77 km2)
 • Land9.83 sq mi (25.46 km2)
 • Water1.66 sq mi (4.31 km2)
Population
 • Total9,646
 • Density908.85/sq mi (350.92/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Zip Code
54235
Area code(s)920
FIPS code55-77875
Websitewww.sturgeonbaywi.org

Sturgeon Bay is a city in and the county seat of Door County, Wisconsin, United States.[3] The population was 9,646 at the 2020 Census. The city is well-known regionally for being the largest city of the Door Peninsula, after which the county is named.

History

The area was originally inhabited by the Ho-Chunk and Menominee. The town is known in the Menominee language as Namāēw-Wīhkit, or "bay of the sturgeon".[4] The Menominee ceded this territory to the United States in the 1831 Treaty of Washington.[5] After that, the area was available for white settlement.

The community was first recorded as Graham in 1855 but, in 1857, the state legislature organized it as the town of Ottumba. Subsequently, the name was reverted to Graham and, in 1860, a petition was submitted to the county board to change the community's name to that of the adjacent bay.[6] In 1874, Sturgeon Bay was incorporated as a village. It became a city in 1883.[7] In 1891, Charles Mitchell Whiteside (1854–1924), a member of the Wisconsin Assembly, sponsored a bill that merged the community of Sawyer with Sturgeon Bay.[8]

The city is locally known for its Bridge, which at the time of its 1931 opening was both the second across the bay and to carry WIS 17 (now WIS 42 and WIS 57/78.

Sturgeon Bay was one of a number of cities in the Midwest to assist with production during World War II.

In 1943, many streets received new names.[9] The former names of some streets are stenciled into older sidewalks.[10]

Historical photos

Geography

A lake freighter (laker) seen from a resort in Sturgeon Bay
A lake freighter (laker) seen from a resort in Sturgeon Bay

At 584 feet (178 m) above sea level, Sturgeon Bay is located at 44°49′56″N 87°22′19″W / 44.83222°N 87.37194°W / 44.83222; -87.37194 (44.813376, -87.372076).[13] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.66 square miles (30.20 km2), of which, 9.82 square miles (25.43 km2) is land and 1.84 square miles (4.77 km2) is water.[14]

Sturgeon Bay is at the natural end of Sturgeon Bay.[15] The Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal was built across the remainder of the Door Peninsula. It is one of several cities along Green Bay, including Green Bay, Marinette and Escanaba, Michigan, and along Lake Michigan north of Manitowoc and south of Manistique, Michigan.

Distance

Sturgeon Bay is 38.4 miles (61.8 km) north of Green Bay, 127 miles (204 km) north of Milwaukee, 169 miles (272 km) south of Houghton, Michigan and 289 miles (465 km) east of Minneapolis. Although Marinette is 21.9 miles (35.2 km) away, people must physically travel towards the bottom of the bay by Green Bay and travel along or nearby the western shore of Green Bay.

Stevens Hill

Stevens Hill is a populated place within the city of Sturgeon Bay, just to the northeast of the downtown.[16] The top of the hill has the highest elevation in the city.[17] It is within Big Hill Park, which is 13.2 acres in area and is used for mountain biking, picnicking, and sledding.[17][18]

Climate

Sturgeon Bay has a humid continental climate (Köppen: Dfb). The city experiences warm summers and cold snowy winters, with an average temperature ranging from 68.7 °F (20.4 °C) in the summer down to 18.0 °F (−7.8 °C) in the winter.

Peninsular Agricultural Research Station north of Sturgeon Bay
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
1.8
 
 
24
8
 
 
1.1
 
 
28
11
 
 
2.1
 
 
38
21
 
 
2.7
 
 
50
32
 
 
2.9
 
 
64
43
 
 
3.5
 
 
74
53
 
 
3.4
 
 
79
59
 
 
3.6
 
 
77
57
 
 
3.4
 
 
69
50
 
 
2.7
 
 
56
39
 
 
2.5
 
 
42
28
 
 
1.8
 
 
30
16
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: Climate-Charts
Climate data for Peninsular Agricultural Research Station north of Sturgeon Bay, 1981-2010 normals, extremes 1905-present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 55
(13)
58
(14)
76
(24)
85
(29)
91
(33)
100
(38)
105
(41)
102
(39)
96
(36)
86
(30)
74
(23)
60
(16)
105
(41)
Mean maximum °F (°C) 41.7
(5.4)
44.8
(7.1)
59.1
(15.1)
72.6
(22.6)
81.1
(27.3)
87.5
(30.8)
89.7
(32.1)
89.0
(31.7)
83.7
(28.7)
73.3
(22.9)
58.6
(14.8)
44.9
(7.2)
91.7
(33.2)
Average high °F (°C) 25.7
(−3.5)
29.0
(−1.7)
38.6
(3.7)
51.7
(10.9)
63.6
(17.6)
73.5
(23.1)
78.7
(25.9)
77.4
(25.2)
69.5
(20.8)
56.1
(13.4)
42.7
(5.9)
30.3
(−0.9)
53.1
(11.7)
Daily mean °F (°C) 18.0
(−7.8)
20.7
(−6.3)
30.3
(−0.9)
42.4
(5.8)
53.1
(11.7)
63.2
(17.3)
68.7
(20.4)
67.8
(19.9)
60.0
(15.6)
47.7
(8.7)
35.9
(2.2)
23.6
(−4.7)
44.3
(6.8)
Average low °F (°C) 10.2
(−12.1)
12.4
(−10.9)
22.0
(−5.6)
33.1
(0.6)
42.6
(5.9)
52.8
(11.6)
58.6
(14.8)
58.3
(14.6)
50.6
(10.3)
39.4
(4.1)
29.0
(−1.7)
17.0
(−8.3)
35.5
(1.9)
Mean minimum °F (°C) −8.9
(−22.7)
−6.5
(−21.4)
2.9
(−16.2)
20.2
(−6.6)
30.5
(−0.8)
39.9
(4.4)
46.4
(8.0)
46.0
(7.8)
35.9
(2.2)
27.5
(−2.5)
15.3
(−9.3)
−1.3
(−18.5)
−13.0
(−25.0)
Record low °F (°C) −29
(−34)
−29
(−34)
−23
(−31)
2
(−17)
20
(−7)
29
(−2)
36
(2)
32
(0)
26
(−3)
12
(−11)
−6
(−21)
−22
(−30)
−29
(−34)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.65
(42)
1.25
(32)
1.94
(49)
2.75
(70)
3.14
(80)
3.64
(92)
3.38
(86)
3.47
(88)
3.36
(85)
3.05
(77)
2.49
(63)
1.82
(46)
31.94
(811)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 14.6
(37)
10.6
(27)
7.3
(19)
2.4
(6.1)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.1
(0.25)
2.6
(6.6)
13.1
(33)
50.7
(129)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 10.9 8.2 8.8 10.1 11.4 10.6 11.0 10.2 10.7 11.4 10.0 10.5 123.8
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 7.2 5.3 3.7 1.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 1.8 6.0 25.4
Source: NOAA[19]

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18801,199
18902,19583.1%
19003,37253.6%
19104,26226.4%
19204,5536.8%
19304,9839.4%
19405,4399.2%
19507,05429.7%
19607,3534.2%
19706,776−7.8%
19808,84730.6%
19909,1763.7%
20009,4372.8%
20109,144−3.1%
20209,6465.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[20]

2010 census

At the 2010 census,[21] there were 9,144 people, 4,288 households and 2,385 families. The population density was 931.2 per square mile (359.5/km2). There were 4,903 housing units at an average density of 499.3 per square mile (192.8/km2). The racial make-up was 95.1% White, 1.0% African American, 0.9% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 1.0% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.7% of the population.

There were 4,288 households, of which 24.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.5% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 44.4% were non-families. 38.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.07 and the average family size was 2.74.

The median age was 45.2 years. 19.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.5% were from 25 to 44; 31% were from 45 to 64; and 19.2% were 65 years of age or older. The sex make-up of the city was 48.1% male and 51.9% female.

2000 census

At the 2000 census,[22] there were 9,437 people, 4,048 households and 2,432 families residing in the city. The population density was 981.4 per square mile (378.9/km2). There were 4,447 housing units at an average density of 462.5 per square mile (178.6/km2). The racial make-up of the city was 97.22% White, 0.33% Black or African American, 0.78% Native American, 0.37% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.46% from other races, and 0.82% from two or more races. 1.28% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 4,048 households, of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.81% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.9% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.92.

23.5% of the population were under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 18.7% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.0 males.

The median household income was $31,935 and the median family income was $45,084. Males had a median income of $31,879 and females $21,414. The per capita income was $18,899. About 5.5% of families and 7.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.2% of those under age 18 and 8.3% of those age 65 or over.

Municipal services

Transportation

Major highways

Bridges across the bay

Airport

Sturgeon Bay is served by Door County Cherryland Airport (IATA: SUE, ICAO: KSUE), which is off of Wisconsin Highway 42 and 57 on County Highway PD.

Education

Sturgeon Bay NWTC campus
Sturgeon Bay NWTC campus

The community is served by Sturgeon Bay High School and has a satellite campus of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

Sturgeon Bay has three elementary schools, Sawyer, Sunrise and Sunset. The middle school, T.J. Walker Middle School, is connected to the high school. St. Peter's Lutheran School is a pre-K to 8th grade school of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.[24] Three former schools, Saint Peter and Paul, Corpus Christi and Saint Joseph, have combined to form Saint John Bosco. The Door County Charter School was in operation from 2002 to 2005.[25]

In 2000–2019 public school statistics, high school enrollment declined 21.0%, middle school enrollment 27.1% and elementary school enrollment 13.7%.[26]

Media

Sturgeon Bay had the Door County Advocate (now a subsidiary of Green Bay Press-Gazette) and numerous radio stations in the Door County Radio Market. No television stations originate from Sturgeon Bay and WFRV's and WLUK's remote-operated weather cameras are the only full-time presence of Green Bay stations in the city.

Entertainment and recreation

Park with a beach on Sturgeon Bay
Park with a beach on Sturgeon Bay

The community has one movie theater, Sturgeon Bay Cinema 6, and a professional regional theatre, the Third Avenue Playhouse. Every year the town hosts Steel Bridge Songfest, where nationally known musicians and songwriters perform. Past performers include Jackson Browne, Jane Wiedlin of The Go-Go's and Pat MacDonald of Timbuk3.[27]

The city owns 20 parks totaling 121.7 acres (49.3 ha), with Sunset Park as the largest at 44 acres (18 ha).[28] The county owns 56 acres (23 ha) of fairgrounds (John Miles County Park)[29] and maintains 2.5 miles (4.0 km) of the Ahnapee Trail extending into the city limits. The Ice Age Trail diverges from the Ahnapee trail and passes through city limits for 5 miles (8.0 km) (mostly through city streets). It exits the city to reach its northern terminus at Potawatomi State Park. The Wisconsin DNR owns or maintains easements on two public properties in the city; 20 acres along Big Creek[30] and 80 acres south of Strawberry Lane.[31] Additionally, four private organizations maintain a total of 723.1 acres (292.6 ha) of parks and other areas preserved for natural and historical purposes within and adjacent to the city.[32]

Notable people

Gallery

For aerial views and photos of the bay itself, see Sturgeon Bay § Gallery.

References

  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ US Census Quick Facts
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ Hoffman, Mike. "Menominee Place Names in Wisconsin". The Menominee Clans Story. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  5. ^ Ceded territories map, Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC), Eighteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology - 1896-97, Part 2 by J. W. Powell, Charles C. Royce, and Cyrus Thomas, 1899, page 728 (page 217 of the pdf)
  6. ^ Robert E. Gard and L. G. Sorden, Romance of Wisconsin Place Names, New York: October House, Inc. 1968, page 121
  7. ^ First Village Voting Here in 41 Years, Door County Advocate, Volume 99, Issue 5, April 5, 1960, page 8
  8. ^ "Man Who Wed Sawyer and Sturgeon Bay Dies", Door County Advocate, August 1, 1924, pg. 1
  9. ^ "Town of Sturgeon Bay - Sturgeon Bay City Street Name Change Tables", Peninsula Genealogical Society, April 25, 2009
  10. ^ Sturgeon Bay Sidewalk Stones Tour by the Door County Library, with photos by taken Door County Historical Museum staff, December 6, 2018
  11. ^ Out of the 14 fishing boats in Sturgeon Bay and the canal in 1885, two were steamers and twelve were sail and row boats. Out of the twelve non-steam powered vessels, seven were gillnetters, four were pound-net boats, and one was used for another type of fishing. Review of the Fisheries of the Great Lakes in 1885 by Hugh M. Smith and Merwin-Marie Snell, Extracted from the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries for 1887, Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1890, page 80: Table of apparatus and capital employed in the fisheries of Lake Michigan in 1885.
  12. ^ Sturgeon Bay Loses a Piece of History by Patty Williamson, Door County Pulse, March 17, 2022
  13. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  14. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 25, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  15. ^ Map of the City of Sturgeon Bay, Door County Land Use Services Department, August 28, 2019 (Archived April 9, 2019)
  16. ^ "Stevens Hill Populated Place Profile / Door County, Wisconsin Data". Wisconsin Hometown Locator. Retrieved May 2, 2021.
  17. ^ a b "Inventory of Outdoor Recreational Facilities: A. Municipal Facilities, 8. Lawrence Big Hill Park", City of Sturgeon Bay, 2020 in 2040 Comprehensive Plan Update, Draft #2, June 2020, page 8
  18. ^ "Explore like a local: Sledding at Big Hill Park". Destination Sturgeon Bay. Retrieved July 17, 2021.
  19. ^ "National Weather Service Climate". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
    - "WMO Climate Normals for Sturgeon Bay Exp Farm". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  20. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  21. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  22. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  23. ^ "Paving underway on expressway to bridge", Door County Advocate, volume 116, no. 49, September 6, 1977, page 1
  24. ^ "St. Peters Lutheran School".
  25. ^ "Closed charters by state", The Center for Education Reform, February 2009, page 61
  26. ^ 2000-2019 enrollment figures come from the Wisconsin DPI Program Statistics Archives, Wisconsin School Free/Reduced Eligibility Data and the Wisconsin DPI School Nutrition Program Statistics reports for school level enrollment and participation data.
  27. ^ Christopher Clough. "Sturgeon Bay's Steel Bridge Songfest sharpens focus on songwriting, arts development". Green Bay Press-Gazette. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  28. ^ Figure A.15. Public Park and Open Space, City of Sturgeon Bay, 2020 in 2040 Comprehensive Plan Update, Draft #2, June 2020, page A-23 (electronic page 123)
  29. ^ 29. John Miles County Park 2020 Outdoor Recreation Plan for the City of Sturgeon Bay, page 17
  30. ^ Crossroads at Big Creek (organization website)
  31. ^ Strawberry Creek Chinook Facility, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  32. ^ 2040 Comprehensive Plan Update, Draft #2, June 2020, page A-13 (electronic page 113) and 2020 Outdoor Recreation Plan for the City of Sturgeon Bay, page 18
    - "Cardy Paleo-Indian Site", Sturgeon Bay Historical Society
    -Cardy Site on the Door County Web-Map
  33. ^ "Robert C. Bassett". Arlington National Cemetery. Bassett, who was born in Sturgeon Bay on March 2, 1911
  34. ^ Justin Skiba (February 5, 2016). "Football's "Father of the Forward Pass" Born in Sturgeon Bay". Door County Pulse, Peninsula Pulse.
  35. ^ Wm. H. Froehlich (comp.), "Henry Overbeck, Jr. (Rep.). of Sturgeon Bay", The Blue Book of the State of Wisconsin, 1901, p. 746.
    - "Henry Overbeck of Sturgeon Bay Dead, Milwaukee", The Manitowoc Herald-News, March 5, 1921, p. 1.